My name is Baylee Woodley, and I was raised on the territory of the K’ómoks First Nation. Today my home is on the unceded territory of the Lekwungen, Songhees, Esquimalt, and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day as do the harms of colonization.
As a white settler of primarily English and Scottish descent I strive to be an ally in the project of decolonization. I recognize also my intersecting privileges and the tension that exists in striving to do disruptive work within institutional bounds.
I have a Master’s (MA) in Art History and Visual Studies from the University of Victoria and am currently doing a PhD at the University College London.
My research interests include histories of queer femininity and femmephobia, queer medieval histories, queer medievalisms, late medieval art with a focus on manuscript illuminations and misericords, contemporary femme performance art, digital humanities, and femme epistemologies medieval and modern.
Alongside my academic practice, I also maintain a performance practice which allows for an embodied exploration of histories of queer femininity in contemporary queer spaces.
Moving forward, I aspire to continue creating accessible and queer-centred art hirstories, building community among queer artists, engaging the potential of visual culture to facilitate queer self-definition, and contributing to efforts of queer legacy-building by highlighting the cross-temporal abundance of queer possibilities.
Why This Website?
My research will fluctuate as I adapt to contemporary needs and engage with new ideas, and I will do my best to keep this website as an up-to-date record. Though my degrees (thankfully) progress, my research will seem most successful to me if it itself is never stagnant as queer ‘hirstories’ themselves are ever-evolving.
Approach to Queer Hirstories
Our “collective memories” (or “shared histories”) have incredible potential to contribute to a sense of identity and encourage our own creative expressions and activism.
Our identities are intersectional. As we work to create our own interpretive methods we are disrupting dominant systemic, colonial models. Homophobia and transphobia are colonial problems. We cannot talk about queer hirstories without addressing racism, colonialism, ageism, ableism, transphobia, sexism, classism, discrimination against sex-workers, femmephobia, and homophobia. These forms of discrimination all impact members of the queer community. Our intersecting identities also give “queering” its broad, powerful, and adaptable potential.
I want this hirstory to be useful to contemporary intersectional queer communities. This is absolutely a NO TERFs zone. I recognize that some identifying terms used here, perhaps ‘lesbian’ most of all, have been sometimes co-opted by TERF rhetoric. ‘Lesbian,’ ‘feminist,’ and all other identifying terms used here are meant to be read as inclusive of (and celebrating!) trans* identities. If you identify in ways you feel are not represented in any of my projects please reach out!
Who Holds Me Accountable?
- My MA supervisor (and ongoing collaborator) Professor Catherine Harding
- My PhD supervisor Professor Robert Mills
- My queer family in Victoria, BC (and hopefully internationally!)
- You! I welcome all constructive, thoughtful feedback and ideas
- My academic colleagues (locally and internationally)—I want to be held to the highest academic standard so that I only share with you quality, reliable work
- Myself. As a femme, queer-lesbian with a proclivity for late medieval intellectual culture this work is near and dear to my heart.